Hitting Seasonal Market Highs by breeding Meat Goats during the Summer months

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2011: $2,821.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: Southern
State: Oklahoma
Principal Investigator:
James Jones
Rockin Double J Boer Goats

Annual Reports


  • Animals: goats


  • Animal Production: livestock breeding
  • Education and Training: demonstration, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance


    This project titled “Hitting Seasonal Market Highs by Breeding Meat Goats During Summer Months” looked at using three different heat synchronization protocols to get female goats (does) to come into a standing heat and breed during the summer months when typically goats do not breed. By doing this offspring (kids) that these does would produce would be able to be marketed in February and March the seasonal high for the meat goat markets. This project would measure the success of the breeding process, price difference in marketing periods and the costs of performing the breeding process.

    Year 1 Results

    Results from the first year are mixed. There was some success in getting the does to breed during the summer months. Only 30% (9 out of 30) of the does that were used had kids. Although the success rate was not as high as one would have hoped. Extreme heat may have played a role in the disappointing outcome.

    Treatment 1 had the best success with 5 does out of 15 (33.3%) having 8 kids. Treatment 2 and 3 success rate was the same at 13.3% with 2 does out of 15 having 3 kids each.

    The marketing goal of selling goats in the during the seasonal high price levels was a success. Goats sold in March 2012 were $0.33/lbs. higher than those sold in the traditional time period of October 2011.

    The returns from year one was also mixed. Treatment 1 was the only treatment that produced enough revenue to cover the cost of the heat synchronization process. Results for each treatment are below.

    Total, Treatment 1 = +$2.24
    Total, Treatment 2 = -$130.16
    Total, Treatment 3 = -$329.96

    Year 2

    Year 2 saw a much improved results in does getting bred and having kids than Year 1. A total of 22 out 30 produced 38 kids.

    Treatment 1 had the best success rate with 9 out of 10 does (90%) producing 14 kids. Treatment 2 had a success rate of 80% with 8 out of 10 does producing 12 kids. Treatment 3 had the poorest success rate at 50% with 5 out 10 does having 8 kids.

    By delaying breeding until the summer months we were able to sell the kids in February at higher prices than October 2012. In October 2012 the average price received for kids sold was $1.66/lbs. In February 2013 the average price for kids sold was $2.08/lbs. Average kid size in February 2013 was 55 lbs. By selling in February we averaged $23.10/goat kid more than October 2012.

    The returns for each treatment was varied due to the difference in cost and total number of goats produced. Treatment 1 and 2 showed positive returns while Treatment 3 did not. Results for each treatment are below.

    Total, Treatment 1 = +$250.60
    Total, Treatment 2 = +$184.40
    Total, Treatment 3 = -$8.00

    Overall Summary

    In 2011 and 2012 Oklahoma has had one the hottest and driest summers in history. These drought conditions have made it difficult to perform this project and probably had a negative effect on the overall results, but I do think that this project has potential to be a tool that goat producers can use to manipulate breeding seasons to fit their individual markets.

    Treatment 1 which is just the use of a CIDR had the best success rate with the least cost. Overall, 70% of the does (14 out of 20) were able to be bred and deliver viable kids. The cost of treatment 1 was $7.28/doe making it the least expensive of the three treatments. Overall returns for this treatment were $252.80 or $12.64/doe.

    Treatment 2 which used CIDR’s and Lutalyse had the second best results at 50% kidding rate (10 out of 20). The cost of Treatment 2 was $9.28/doe. Overall returns for Treatment 2 were $54.24 or $2.71/doe. With the increase in treatment costs this procedure needs to have a higher kidding rate than Treatment 1 in order to pay for the increased cost, but the results are not so negative that this option should not be explored.

    Treatment 3 which was the use of CIDR’s, Lutalyse and PG600 was the worst of the three treatment options. Not only did it have the worst kidding rate of 35% (7 out of 20), but it also had a negative return. The cost of this treatment was $19.28 per doe. This was more than twice than treatment 1 or 2. Overall returns for this treatment were -$337.96 or -$16.89/doe. This treatment lack of productivity and increased costs make it not a very viable option for meat goat producers.


    I will be using 30 does from my operation (Rockin Double J) and my parent's operation (J&S Farms). Some of these does will be mature does that have kidded before and some will first time doelings. There are three different protocols that have been suggested by my personal veterinarians and OSU veterinarians. So I will try three different protocols on the set of 30 does (10 does for each protocol) over a two year time period. One half of does will be done in May/June and the other half will be done in June/July.

    The three protocols being used would be:

    1. Insert a CIDR© for 14 days. Remove the CIDR© and breed by live cover.

    2. Give a shot of prostaglandin (Lutalyse) and insert a CIDR©. Remove ODR© after 14 days and breed by live cover.
    3. Give a shot of prostaglandin (Lutalyse) and insert a ODR©. Remove ODR© after 14 days and give a shot of gonadotropin (PG 600) and then breed by live cover.

    Each protocol effectiveness and costs will be analyzed.

    The use of all the needed products will be under the supervision of three veterinarians, Dr. Dave Sparks, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Area Food-Animal Quality & Health Specialist, Dr. Brad Pitts, Cimarron Vet Clinic and Dr. Joanne Green, Green Veterinary Clinic. Both Dr. Pitts and Green are the veterinarians used by our operation.

    The does will be pregnancy checked around 60 days after live breeding. Pregnancy rates will be calculated.

    Costs of each of the protocols will be measured along with the production costs of the does and kids. These costs include hay, protein supplements for both does and kids, vet expense, vet supplies, and all other costs associated with these does.

    The kid crop will then be marketed in February or March. Any kid riot sold as a market animal such as a doe kept for replacement purposes will be weighed and assigned a value based on what his/her counterparts brought at the market.

    The price received for kids marketed in February and March will be recorded and compared to the kid crop sold in September and October to determine if there is a price difference. The costs of the two crops will be compared to see what differences in cost there is in trying to produce the winter kid crop. Then the returns for the winter kid crop will be compared to the returns of the fall kid crop to see if the price difference In February and March is enough to justify the extra costs associated with the heat synchronization protocols and production costs.

    Project objectives:

    Both Year 1 and Year 2 were done the same. The objective/goals of the treatments were to force breeding age does into a standing heat during the summer months when does do not typically breed. This would allow us to sell those kids during a time of the year when meat goat prices are typically at their highest. By selling at these higher prices the returns would cover the costs of the treatments.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.